A Riverview woman is facing charges of exploiting the elderly after deputies say she stole over half a million dollars from a now-deceased man over whom she was assigned guardianship.
Authorities say the 51-year-old woman is a professional guardian and operates a company dedicated to offering guardianship services for elderly adults. They say suspicions against her began a year ago when the Florida Department of Children and Families received a tip that she had been exploiting an elderly man over whom she maintained legal guardianship.
According to records, she became the man’s guardian in November 2017 after he suffered a series of medical setbacks. She allegedly began charging him $100 per hour for power-of-attorney services, which the man over whom she was legal guardian later stated he was unaware of her fees and was uncertain regarding the reason she had been given charge of his finances.
Investigators say she transferred $541,000 from the man’s bank account in a series of almost four dozen checks with vague and non-specific notes on the memo line. The man ultimately passed away while in hospice in October of last year.
The Michigan native was arrested last Thursday and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on a single count of exploiting an elderly person. She was released early the next morning after posting a bond of $250,000.
Though this is her first arrest, she has previously come to the attention of the Pinellas County Inspector General due to complaints primarily arising from four women. Several investigations into the woman’s guardianships have been undertaken, and all but two of them are closed at present.
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